One of the most interesting aspects of the English language lies in its variants, such as the "soda" vs. "pop" debate and the place of African-American English in modern culture. These and other dialectual curiosities are looked at in detail and placed in the context of today's world. Finally, Professor Drout examines the future, not only of the English language, but of all the world's languages.
©2006 Michael Drout; (P)2006 Recorded Books
I taught a similar course and we actually used the same program - phonetics, history, and then discussions about present day English. I found some of the discussion about code switching appealing (politically) but not always convincing. Drout prefaced the section by saying that many linguists don't agree and I appreciated that honesty. I found the explanations of the Great Vowel Shift and Norman Conquest particularly interesting. More than anything, the lectures were compelling, conversational in tone, and interesting -- this is not your typical boring history class! Great intro course for students and anyone interested in our fascinating language!
The professor has a quiet but enthusiastic way of presenting his material. He held my interest throughout the course. Fortunately I was alone when I practiced my sounds, but I feel I learned a lot about a language I take for granted. I recommend this book to anyone curious about English and about language in general. Not a definitive piece, but one that will please people who just want to know.
The first few lectures on phonelogy basics can be fairly boring, but this is one of the few Modern Scholar courses that become progressively more interesting as each lecture goes by. I learned a great deal and I am sure I'd revisit it time and again.
What a fascinating story of the development of language. To hear it read added immensely to my enjoyment. Why does English have so many silent 'e's? Why are there silent 'k's before 'en's?
It explained the language I call my own and gave me an appreciation--or greater appreciation--about the connectivity of humankind.
Attila the Hun. Who knew he was just a big papabear?
as a trained psycholinguist, I found the author's frequent misstatements about psychology and neuroscience annoying. Hopefully he understood the history of language better than he understood these peripheral parts of his course. But it made me wonder...
Michael Drout's enthusiasm and love for the subject made this series a lot of fun. I plan to listen to the lectures again.
Drout is great as always in explaining how the English language has evolved to become the international of today. He is a terrific speaker.
"Well up to this speaker's high standard - enjoy!"
Ignore the tedious intro by the old buffer. It's not a fair representation of the recording itself, which is very good indeed. I can't find a way to skip the intro, but the main lectures are well worth waiting for!
The lecturer's heavy American accent is hard to take at first, but the scholarship draws you in. Drout is so besotted with his subject that you will be taken to a new level of understanding, even if you're not a specialist and this is new for you. The material is uncompromisingly academic - he pulls no punches when it comes to some complex linguistic material - but the way in which it is presented is so enthusiastic and informal that it's like listening to a very intelligent friend who just happens to be obsessed with the English language and its development.
Tolkein fans will soon realise that they have a kindred spirit in Dr Drout. His lectures on fantasy and science fiction extends this and his Anglo Saxon audio lectures are also great and all on Audible.
In this cynical and shallow world, it's lovely to come across real academic depth matched with sheer enthusiasm for the subject. If this blend appeals to you too, prepare for some serious fun!
"Fascinating and fun!"
Professor Drought's easy delivery and sense of humour make the journey through the English language's history and technical bits enjoyable as well as enlightening. I loved this listen.
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